As you may recall, dear reader, last time I wrote I was kind of in a funk. I can’t say I’m completely out of that funk (such is the nature of depression), but I am not the type of person to sit and stew about it for long. The writing of my last column hit me at a particularly low time, and the ebbs and flows of this disease dictate that some days are better than others.
That said, there are always things that I can force myself to do that will drag me out of it, and once I make a conscious effort (and can find the energy – the big D is famous for zapping that), I can often make a go of things. This week I decided that a little change might do me good. And no, I’m not moving to Tahiti or something. I like to think, sometimes too much, and organizing things in my mind and on paper does worlds of good for me. I find that, even when I am at my lowest, I have enough energy to lay there and just think. As long as I’m thinking about things that are productive, I can gets the wheels turning.
I started out by thinking about the sort of things that are happening when life is going its best. I was able to make a list that included regular exercise, comfortable finances, plenty of water (and some coffee), people that I love around me, music I can really get into, something to do with my hands and my brain, and a minimum of clutter. Whew – tackling these things when they all seem to be a mess is kind of heady, but I at least had a loose outline of the things that would improve my situation.
From that point, my next step was to figure out if I was doing each thing to the point where I was happy with it (spoiler: nope), and what I would need to do to make it happen. For example, exercise is kind of my Waterloo, but I know it’s important. That said, it doesn’t take much for me to decide that it isn’t a priority. I thought of myself as a nighttime exerciser, but it was rare that I felt like exercising after a long day. If anything at all was wrong with my life, I would skip it. The idea of exercising in the morning filled me with resistance, but I figured I would try it. It turns out that when I did, I was finished with my workout before I was fully awake anyway, and I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day. It made me more energetic and motivated on those days as well. I wouldn’t have come to that realization if I hadn’t decided to change things up. Changing and improving the little things can often snowball into a big improvement, and it has in this case.
Maybe you don’t have depression (and I hope you don’t – it’s not all that fun, really). Even if you are fortunate not to have it, everyone feels like things are a little out of control from time to time. Life throws a lot more at us these days that we are really equipped to handle without a lot of practice, and sometimes the wheels kind of fall off. Don’t be afraid to step back, assess what’s most important, and focus on how to manifest more of that in your life. Just the thought exercise will help a little, and any additional effort in that direction is sure to make a difference.